Joining the outcry against the foreign tour of a group of 15 Karnataka legislators at a time when the state was reeling under drought, former chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Saturday urged them to return immediately and monitor the relief works.
"It is an unpardonable crime to undertake foreign tour. I will appeal to presiding officers of both houses of the legislature and also Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar to direct the legislators to come back forthwith" Yeddyurappa told the media in Bangalore.
He lashed out at some legislators including those from BJP for defending their tour abroad on the ground that it has been approved by the chief minister, speaker and chairman of legislatures and said "not only foreign tour, even they should not go to other states in the country at this hour".
Yeddyurappa, who returned from a visit of drought-hit nine districts in the state, warned the legislators that people would teach them a lesson if they do not return immediately and monitor drought relief works.
He did not agree with a survey report which indicated that the ruling BJP's popularity graph was on the decline in the wake of dissident activity and remarked "such issues will be looked into by some intellectuals in our party in Delhi".
Yeddyurappa, who was forced to quit as chief minister last year after being indicted by the Lokayukta report on illegal mining, urged the state government to earmark another Rs 5,000 crore for desilting of tanks and extend financial assistance to farmers in drought ravaged areas.
In a letter to Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, he narrated the plight of people and live stock.
He charged that inertia has gripped the officials and they had not shown any concern for the sufferings of people.